Asking your GP about holiday vaccinations is a must if you intend to travel internationally as a family. As soon as your destination and departure date are confirmed it’s important to book an appointment to visit the doctor’s surgery.

Aim to discuss your jabs at least 8 weeks before you are scheduled to fly out because some vaccines take longer than others to start working, and be prepared to be told your child is too young to be immunized against certain diseases.

Some but not all of the infectious diseases which can be encountered overseas are rolled into the NHS routine immunization programme. Your doctor can assess any gaps in your family’s immunization history to help you take the recommended steps before you travel.

Vaccinations may be recommended:
– For yellow fever, typhoid and hepatitis A
– For travel to rural areas, backpacking, camping or staying for longer than an average package holiday
– But may not be free on the NHS

GP practices which are registered to offer vaccination services do so for free in the case of Polio (given as a combined diphtheria/tetanus/polio jab), typhoid, hepatitis A and cholera.

It’s important to take care protecting your family on holiday even after vaccinations, by:

– Using insect repellents, nets and covering up bare skin to help avoid insect bites
– Never approaching, touching, feeding or enticing animals
– Enforcing frequent hand washing (hand sanitizing gel is second best to thorough hand washing if washing isn’t possible)
– Avoiding raw foods and sticking to freshly cooked, piping hot food

For NHS information and guidance on this subject, visit –